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game recap

Canadiens 7, Senators 5

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:09 AM

Associated Press

MONTREAL - Andrei Kostitsyn scored two of Montreal's three first-period goals and the Canadiens clinched a playoff spot with a 7-5 win over the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.

Chris Higgins also scored in the first as Montreal beat Martin Gerber three times in the opening period while outshooting Ottawa 14-7.

The Canadiens added four goals in the second as Francis Bouillon, Andrei Markov, Mikhail Grabovski and Tom Kostopoulos scored on Ray Emery, who replaced Gerber to begin the middle period.

Carey Price stopped 31 shots for Montreal, which returned to the playoffs for just the fourth time in the past nine seasons.

The Canadiens, who were eliminated from playoff contention last season with a loss in Toronto in their final regular-season game, lead the Eastern Conference with 96 points and five games remaining.

Montreal extended its Northeast Division lead to seven points over Ottawa, which has six games remaining, including Tuesday night in Buffalo.

Dany Heatley got his 38th and 39th goals for the Senators, who scored four times in the third period after falling behind 7-1 late in the second.

Antoine Vermette, Martin Lapointe and Jason Spezza also scored for Ottawa, which had won five of its six previous games against Montreal this season.

Antoine Vermette (20) gets upended by the Montreal Canadiens' Roman Hamrlik in front of Habs' goaltender Carey Price during the third period of the Senators' 7-5 loss on Monday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

Kostitsyn opened the scoring 1:40 in with his 24th goal. Higgins made it 2-0 at 13:26 when he put his own rebound past Gerber, who was unable to cover the puck.

Kostitsyn got his second goal of the period — his 25th — on a power play at 18:24 as Gerber once again was unable to smother a puck in his crease.

Emery took over to begin the second and fared no better than Gerber, even after Vermette scored his 19th goal midway through the period to draw Ottawa within 3-1.

Bouillon scored his second of the season at 11:29 to restore Montreal's three-goal lead before Markov and Grabovski scored goals 42 seconds apart to make it 6-1 at 15:46.

Kostopoulos increased the lead to 7-1 when he got the Canadiens' fourth goal within 7:45 on a short-handed effort at 19:14.

Heatley, a 50-goal scorer the past two seasons, got his 38th goal 3:04 into the third to cut the lead to 7-2 and Lapointe made it 7-3 with his sixth of the season, his third in 12 games since he was traded to Ottawa by Chicago at the deadline.

Heatley got his second goal in just over six minutes when he beat Price for his team-leading 39th goal at 9:04 to draw the Senators within 7-4.

Spezza scored a power-play goal at 18:02 to cut the lead to two.

scoring summary
1st Period
01:40
MTL
Andrei Kostitsyn (24) Wrist shot - ASST: Tomas Plekanec (39), Roman Hamrlik (20)
1 - 0 MTL
13:26
MTL
Chris Higgins (23) Wrist shot - ASST: Maxim Lapierre (8)
2 - 0 MTL
18:24
MTL
PPG - Andrei Kostitsyn (25) Wrist shot - ASST: Mark Streit (43), Alex Kovalev (45)
3 - 0 MTL
2nd Period
09:43
OTT
Antoine Vermette (19) Wrist shot - ASST: Randy Robitaille (18), Martin Lapointe (6)
3 - 1 MTL
11:29
MTL
Francis Bouillon (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Bryan Smolinski (16)
4 - 1 MTL
15:04
MTL
PPG - Andrei Markov (16) Wrist shot - ASST: Michael Ryder (16), Alex Kovalev (46)
5 - 1 MTL
15:46
MTL
Mikhail Grabovski (3) Tip-in - ASST: Sergei Kostitsyn (17)
6 - 1 MTL
19:14
MTL
SHG - Tom Kostopoulos (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Andrei Markov (41), Maxim Lapierre (9)
7 - 1 MTL
3rd Period
03:04
OTT
Dany Heatley (38) Wrist shot - ASST: Daniel Alfredsson (44), Luke Richardson (7)
7 - 2 MTL
04:33
OTT
Martin Lapointe (6) Tip-in - ASST: Shean Donovan (5), Randy Robitaille (19)
7 - 3 MTL
09:23
OTT
Dany Heatley (39) Wrist shot - ASST: Mike Commodore (11), Daniel Alfredsson (45)
7 - 4 MTL
18:02
OTT
PPG - Jason Spezza (32) Tip-in - ASST: Cory Stillman (39), Daniel Alfredsson (46)
7 - 5 MTL
penalty summary
1st Period
04:47
OTT
Daniel Alfredsson  Hi-sticking against  Tomas Plekanec
09:53
MTL
Francis Bouillon  Interference against  Chris Neil
17:58
OTT
Shean Donovan  Interference on goalkeeper against  Carey Price
17:58
OTT
Brian McGrattan  Roughing against  Maxim Lapierre
17:58
MTL
Maxim Lapierre  Roughing against  Brian McGrattan
19:14
MTL
Andrei Markov  Hooking against  Daniel Alfredsson
2nd Period
00:25
OTT
Dany Heatley  Interference on goalkeeper against  Carey Price
12:57
OTT
Chris Phillips  Hooking against  Tomas Plekanec
13:45
OTT
Christoph Schubert  Holding against  Chris Higgins
15:25
OTT
Chris Neil  Misconduct (10 min)
17:35
MTL
Tomas Plekanec  Hooking against  Antoine Vermette
3rd Period
05:29
MTL
Tomas Plekanec  Hi-sticking against  Andrej Meszaros
10:53
MTL
Maxim Lapierre  Hooking against  Randy Robitaille
11:58
MTL
Josh Gorges  Hooking against  Dany Heatley
17:30
MTL
Andrei Kostitsyn  Hi-sticking against  Anton Volchenkov
goalie stats
Ray Emery
Ray Emery
SA: 18TOI: 39:10
Saves: 14EV: 8 - 10
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .778SH: 0 - 1
Martin Gerber
Martin Gerber
SA: 14TOI: 20:00
Saves: 11EV: 9 - 11
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 3
SV%: .786SH: 0 - 0
Carey Price
Carey Price
SA: 36TOI: 59:57
Saves: 31EV: 18 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 12 - 13
SV%: .861SH: 1 - 1